What does it take to make a living as an artist? That’s the what we’re delving into on today’s episode of the Craft Industry Alliance podcast. My guests are Lilla Rogers and Lisa Congdon.

Lilla Rogers steers the ship at Lilla Rogers Studio, a visionary art agency that represents some of the most sought-after artists in the world. The Studio has licensed their artwork on a huge variety of products, from bathing suits to teacups, piggybanks to wall décor.

Lilla-Rogers-final-print-6792-Edit-Lilla Rogers

The Studio’s client list includes Crate & Barrel, Pier One, Land of Nod, Chronicle, the New York Times, Moda, Blue Q, Paperchase, and hundreds more. An accomplished illustrator, painter, author, and teacher, Lilla has been in the business for over three decades. Most recently she offers wildly popular e-courses and the extraordinary annual Global Talent Search.

lisa-congdon-woodnote-8Lisa Congdon. Photo by Caroline of Woodnote.

Lisa Congdon first started making art as a hobby in 2001, and five years later began showing and selling her work. Today, Lisa makes a full-time living as an illustrator and fine artist. Known for her colorful and intricate paintings, drawings, and pattern designs, Lisa works for clients around the world including the Museum of Modern Art, Martha Stewart Living, General Mills, and Simon & Schuster, among many others.

Flowers by Lisa CongdonArtwork by Lisa Congdon.

Her projects range from book, magazine, product and stationery illustration to wallpaper and fabric design. She has exhibited her work around the country, including shows at the Contemporary Jewish Museum and Bedford Gallery. She is the author of Art Inc, Whatever You Are Be a Good One, 20 Ways to Draw a Tulip and A Collection a Day. Lisa keeps a popular daily blog about her life, work, and inspirations called Today is Going to be Awesome. She lives in Oakland, California with her wife and animals.

abstract painting by lisa congdonArtwork by Lisa Congdon.

In our conversation, Lilla describes her early career as an illustrator in New York in the 1980’s and traces how she began helping other illustrators develop their careers. She explains what she first saw in Lisa’s work that led her to take Lisa on as an artist.

Lisa tells us about her entry into the art world in her 30’s and her path to becoming a successful fine artist and illustrator. She describes how she diversifies her income to make it all work. We touch on how to work through feelings of self-doubt, how to be persistent, and how to stay grounded through it all.


Throughout our conversation we refer to Lisa’s new book, Art Inc.: The Essential Guide for Building Your Career as an Artist, and Lilla’s book, I Just Like to Make Things.

It wouldn’t be an episode of the Craft Industry Alliance podcast without recommendations for great stuff we’re loving right now.

Lisa recommends:

Lilla recommends:

You can listen to the show right here by clicking on the arrow below or subscribe in iTunes. If you like the show, tell a friend about it. Thank you so much!

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